By Benjamin Yount
Illinois Statehouse News
SPRINGFIELD — Any local school with a new building, new teachers, new bus drivers or even new students may be in danger of missing the first day of school because of the ongoing political fight over paychecks for regional superintendents in Illinois.
Because he wanted local communities to bear the costs, Gov. Pat Quinn zeroed-out the state budget line of$11 million intended to pay for Illinois’ 44 regional offices of education. Quinn used his amendatory veto power to strip the money, but the constitutionality of eliminating state funding for the elected regional superintendents is in question.
A better question is: Why do we need regional superintendents in the first place? We supposedly need them because they, for example, sign off on occupancy permits for new schools? But why? Just another level of bureaucracy–perhaps originally well-intended–that has gathered and now protects at any cost its domain.
Here is a list of their responsibilities, according to the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools. Pick out the jobs that can be consolidated. Pick out the jobs that are make-work. Pick out the jobs that are unnecessary to start with.